by Tom Venuto Iron Magazine
A diet program so versatile, it can take someone from obese to lean... or, take someone from already lean to ripped... even through the plateau to knock off the LAST 10 to 15 pounds. ...Or even the last 5 stubborn pounds that you've never been able to budge in your entire life... those last annoying fat deposits that stand in between you and your 6-pack abs, or a bikini-ready backside.
PLUS, it works for women as well as it works for men.
One type of program that can get the job done is the "bodybuilding and fitness model style of eating" and today we have yet another amazing success story that's a perfect example of how effective it is and what it can do for a woman.
Agi Tenbusch entered the Burn the Fat body transformation challenge and in only 49 days, went from already very fit and lean to the NEXT LEVEL: ripped enough for fitness modelling or figure competition.
She said it was the best 49 days of her life, as she learned new things about training, nutrition and herself every day of the challenge and enjoyed the phenomenal support and inspiration from her fellow challengers at the Burn the Fat Inner Circle.
Her achievements, which can be seen in the stunning photographs on this page, won her the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle "Most Ripped Female" award and a lifetime spot in the Burn the Fat Hall of Fame.
Agi is a great person to emulate if you want to know what it takes to go from already lean to SUPER-lean... it's NOT the same as taking off those easier-to-lose first 10 pounds.
So, after the last challenge was over, we caught up with Agi to pick her brain. We asked...
"What were the most effective strategies in each of these three areas, that you think helped you go from being in already good shape to great shape ... all the way to 'ripped?' 1) mindset, 2) nutrition 3) training, and 4) feel free to add any other tips or advice that would help our readers get results like you did."
I feel lucky, because I'm an athlete and I have a certain innate balance and symmetry to my body. However, I think that in order to get that pro fitness model body, it takes more than hard work and genetics, it takes a certain mindset and your inside has to be in balance with your outside. Therefore, I incorporate deep meditation and power yoga into my weekly program. It works to banish emotional stress (such as hunger), strengthens muscles in a different way and increases flexibility. Yoga has a positive impact on my body, skin, and complexion too.
I focus on keeping my mind in balance. One way I accomplish this is by holding brainstorming sessions by myself and journaling my goals, workouts, time schedules, and nutrition plans. I also make use of Mantras. For example, around the 4th week of the challenge, I wrote the following mantra on my training board: “Sexy goddess, You can do it.”
During my meditations I visualized lifting heaver weights with smoother movements. I also pictured myself next to the strongest fitness competitors and researched their diets and exercise routines. All of those girls were doing much harder training than I had set for myself. I saw myself competing with those girls and began to train harder and lift heavier.
I truly enjoyed being part of the Burn the Fat Inner Circle. I liked working with other people who had the same goal in mind and the same kind of positive mindset. Skimming over other people’s journals through the challenge was inspiring and a learning experience. I noticed that people who kept an open mind and were willing to share helped assist my growth the most.
Losing only 5 1/2 pounds in 49 days when I know I'm able to do it in 7 days required some planing. Slow and steady fat loss while keeping the lean body mass was the goal. It was about body composition, not just losing weight fast.
I built my nutrition plan on the foundation of disciplined eating, drinking lots of water and fueling my body with A+ unprocessed food. I felt like a scientist every time I wrote down my weekly eating plan using a 3:1 ratio for carb cycling and scheduling my high calorie days around the holidays.
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! A solid breakfast keeps me energized throughout my workouts and also offers a sweet start to my mornings. The sweet smell of Apple Cinnamon/Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with vanilla or banana protein powder, and 1/4 cup blueberries gets me out of bed in the morning.
Here's a sample day from the beginning of the challenge:
Meal 1: scrambled eggs with tomato, oatmeal
Meal 2: warm crunchy tuna rice with spinach (recipe from the Inner Circle)
Meal 3: strawberry yogurt smoothie (or a kiwi-mango smoothie)
Meal 4: green salad with grilled chicken
Snacks: I sometimes had celery, fruit (apple), almonds
Other foods I ate during the challenge included asparagus, all kinds of salad veggies (cucumbers, tomatoes, etc) other fruits, turkey meatloaf and brown rice (for starchy carbs). My starchy carbs weren't high, but I didn't cut them all out.
I wansn't perfect. I ate clean most of the time but occasionally just could not control urges to overeat. But I got right back on and I always kept training hard. As a result of this challenge, I became a smarter eater, a better cook and good food analyzer when I went shopping.
Training was the least challenging part for me as I'm an athlete and I love playing sports. I pushed myself to the max during every workout. These killer training sessions were empowering and cleared my mind. Initially, I started with Intermediate workouts and continued my progress to the Advanced level. (4 day bodybuilding split, supersets, giant sets, endurance sets, pre-exhaust, burnout, tempo training, heavy weight, moderately heavy, light to moderate, all part of my 49 day challenge.)
To structure my workouts, I used the bodybuilding workouts from Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and went mostly with the exercises recommended in Tom’s top 5 list. I wrote down a weekly training progress chart and I always followed through, focusing on large muscle groups (Back, Chest, Shoulders) first and leaving the small muscles (Biceps, Triceps) till the end.
For the challenge, this is the 2-day push/pull split routine I started with before moving to advanced splits:
Day 1: legs, back, biceps, calves
Day 2: chest, shoulders, triceps, abs
This was done on a 2 days on, 1 day off rotation.
When I'd been doing the same workout for a while, then it got boring. That's when I started to research the Inner Circle and found some really amazing articles for real killer workouts. I also used some exercise ideas from Oxygen magazine, and my fun began. By the end, I was writing my own programs from scratch and changing my workouts before the boredom set in, to keep me motivated.
Cardio was also a core element in my workouts. I always warm up with 15 mins of cardio before my training and push myself to do an extra 35 mins at the end. I like to jump rope and did up to 30 minutes nonstop.
I think my abs are one of the best aspects of my body, and my mantra is “Abs are made in the kitchen.” If you want to see your Abs, you not only have to train them (I recommend about 3 times per week), you have to get the proper nutrition.
4. Other tips and advice?
I have two final tips, which is more in the mindset and motivation department:
Find just one passionate reason why you want this; believe in it, stick to it and the rest will fall in place with time. Don't just have a dream, Make that dream come alive. As Tony Robbins says, “When you dare to dream, dare to follow that dream. Dare to suffer through the pain, sacrifice, self doubts, and fiction from the world. When you show such courage and tenacity, you will genuinely impress yourself. And most important, you will treat yourself accordingly and not settle for less from others - at least, not for long.”
So how does a bodybuilding and fitness model diet work? Agi's success story here has given you a pretty good preview, but you can learn more in the Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle e-book.
It's known as the "bible of fat loss" for people who had 100 pounds or more to lose, all the way to national caliber physique athletes who need to drop 5-10 pounds and get ripped for competitions or photo shoots.
Get your own copy of Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle e-book and you can also enter - if you choose to - the Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle body transformation contests like Agi did. It's a place where regular people can get motivated, become accountable and compete for their best shape ever, even if they have no desire to ever get on a bodybuilding or fitness stage. For personal motivation, nothing beats it (especially when the grand prize is a trip to Maui).
The Burn the Fat Challenge happens twice a year - and your timing could not be better because NOW is that time! This year's challenge is still open until June 5th, 2012. Entry is free for Burn The Fat, Feed the Muscle customers. (restrictions may apply for first time new members).